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Comment: Re:Fuck those guys (Score 1) 569

They could always try a telephone or bullhorn and ask some questions including permission to enter.

So let me get this straight. I have been kidnapped in my home by a lunatic who threatens to kill me if I try to call the police or escape. I manage to call 911 for help, and your suggestion is that the police call me back or ask permission to enter so that the kidnapper can make good on their threat to kill me.

Or... none of that happened and it's just a swatter dickbag!

OTOH, if the police response to your call is to flatten the whole place with a bazooka, you wouldn't fare very well either.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by Cro Magnon (#49293637) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

One question in my mind is not only what the computer recognizes, but when it recognizes it. If a kid and/or dog runs out in the street without warning, there's no doubt that a computer can react faster than I could. But I might notice that there are a bunch of dogs and/or kids playing on the sidewalk and adjust my speed and alertness accordingly. Can the computer do so? If not, it's not ready.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by Cro Magnon (#49293485) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

I expect it'll become mandatory after a couple of people who set their car to "manual" kill pedestrians or other drivers. People are far too unreliable to have behind the wheel if we have a better option.

Until the self-driving car kills people. Even if it really is a better option, it's going to be hard to make it mandatory in the face of "Killer Car Kills Family" stories on the news.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 4, Insightful) 451

by pollarda (#49289713) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

That may be true. However, self driving cars are an entirely different matter. While they are really cool, do you really want to be in one hurling down the highway at 85MPH (I'm in Utah) and trusting that the automated systems are going to know the difference between a coyote or a tumbleweed? There are an incredible number of obstacles that a person can instantly recognize that even today, a computer can't. If a child and a dog run out into the street at the same time from opposite sides, do you trust the car to make the right decision as to which it will run over? How would you like to be legally responsible for your self driving car if it runs over a child? What about black ice? What if a person is in the road and the car has a choice of running over the person or crashing and possibly killing you. Do you trust the car to make the right decision?

As much as I like software (and writing it), there are IMHO too many judgement calls for a computer and in many situations too many for a lot of (supposedly sane) people.

The only way I can see self driving cars really working is to have special roads to carry them. These would be isolated from regular traffic and most of the regular road hazards. They would be in many ways analogous to a set of rail road tracks. (You don't see trains often running into problems with obstacles -- though when they do, the train usually comes out ahead.) Once you get to where you generally plan on going, you jump off and drive the rest of the way manually.

Comment: Re:Vice Versa (Score 1) 274

by Cro Magnon (#49282665) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

That's really my problem. As an American, the only languages I'm even exposed to are English and Spanish. And I don't know many people who speak Spanish, and the ones that do also speak English. So, my only incentive to learn Spanish is to overhear what the people in the grocery store are saying to each other.

Comment: Re:My experience with bilingual people (Score 1) 274

by Cro Magnon (#49282603) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

A country the size of America where everyone speaks the same language? What a huge advantage. There are hundreds of millions of Chinese people who don't speak the official language. How many wars did Europe have because they couldn't communicate with each other?

Actually, I suspect several wars started BECAUSE the people understood each other.

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"

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